Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils

Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils

Margaret made this dish and brought leftovers to the store. A minor scuffle broke out between Anne and Beau over this dish. (Anne won.) That's how good it tastes. Our Berbere blend is such a complex marriage of Spiciness from chiles, savory richness from the aromatics, and warmth from the cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Everyone in the store has made the dish for their family and received rave reviews. This is such a simple dish with crazy, complex flavors. It's definitely a keeper for your weeknight repertoire, but it's nice enough for company.

Adapted from

Ingredients for Lentils:

2 Tbl Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 Tbl fresh minced ginger

1 cup diced carrot

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbl Berbere Spice Blend or more to taste (*See note below)

1 cup green lentils

3 cups water

1cup diced tomato

1 tsp salt

Directions for Lentils:

In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots and ginger until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until just fragrant. Add Berbere Spice Blendand sauté 2-3 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, salt and water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and let cook until al dente, about 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Chicken:

Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 skin on OR boneless, skinless chicken thighs (the dish works well with either option)


1 Tbl Berbere Spice Blend or more to taste (*See note below)

1/2 cup diced onion

1 can diced tomato


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat chicken dry and salt on all sides. Rub with the Berbere Blend. Heat 1 Tbl oil in a heavy bottomed braiser or dutch oven. Sear chicken until deep golden brown on both sides. )If using skin-on thighs, saute skin side down first then turn skin side up to finish and bake.) Remove and hold on a plate. Add onion to the pan and sauté allowing onions to deglaze the pan and lift any browned bits from the chicken. Add the canned diced tomatoes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and move the oven, covered, to finish cooking. Chicken will be done when no pink is visible and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Serve over green lentils. Basmati rice is also a great accompaniment to this dish.

*Our Berbere blend is quite spicy. Add in small increments to increase the heat level of the dish.

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